Packing for college can be really stressful, and often times you end up overwhelmed by the end. I’m the oldest child in my family, which resulted in me being the first child to go to college. My parents hadn’t been to college in years, and college is different now. So, needless to say, it was a learning experience. When I was packing for college, I printed off dozens of packing lists I had found on Pinterest and then compiled them into one list with everything I thought I would need. Honestly, when I sat down to make my list of ten things that you do not need to bring to college, I struggled, because I genuinely use almost everything I brought. So, my suggestion to you is to do your research, and make sure you know what things not to bring to college.
1. High School Yearbooks
Please, please, please DO NOT bring any of your high school yearbooks. Chances are, you are not going to interact with anyone from high school while you’re actually at school, and when you’re home for holidays, you’re not going to want to see the majority of your former classmates. So, why on Earth would you want to bring a book full of pictures of those people with you? Also, you don’t want to be that roommate that brings all of their yearbooks and lines them up on their bookshelf like some kind of creepy shrine to high school. I guarantee that if you do end up bringing one, or all, of your yearbooks, they are going to sit on a shelf, in the closet or in a tote all year and collect dust. In the end, it just makes more work for you when you are packing to move out.
Bring A Yearly Planner Instead:
Continuing on the topic of not bringing high school with you to college, you also should not bring your Letterman jacket, your medals, trophies or generally anything from high school. You may have been a superstar in high school, but to others on campus, they are going to know immediately that you are a freshman, and they are going to label you as a loser. Sorry, but it’s the truth. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be proud of what you accomplished in high school, just don’t flaunt it around at college. Keep that stuff at home and go to college and make new memories and achieve new things. Also, some people will tell you not to bring any t shirts from high school because you will receive plenty of free ones. In my experience, I only received one free t shirt, which was fine, and I’ve since bought/gotten more, but it definitely did not replace all of my comfy t-shirts from before. I suggest bringing a few and wearing them to lounge and sleep in. Don’t bring every t-shirt from every homecoming, club and or activity that you’ve ever gotten, but do bring a few.
Bring A Comfy And Trendy Jacket Instead:
If you already have a television before going to college, and you really want to bring it, go for it. Although, do not go out and buy a T.V. for your dorm room. Most likely, either your roommate will bring one, or you’ll end up watching Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and even DVD’s on your laptop or computer. Having a television in your room means that you have to compromise with your roommate on what you’re going to watch. Whereas just using your computer means you both get to watch what you want to watch at the same time. None of us purchased a T.V. to bring with us and we were just fine without one. My roommates and I do have a television now, but we were lucky enough to win it during a retreat last semester. The only use our T.V. gets is when we all decide to watch a movie together.
Get A Netflix Account Instead
4. Restricted Items
Every college has them, the dreaded list of restricted or strictly prohibited items. Do you have to agree with them? No. Do you have to follow them? You bet. Just don’t bring things that are on those lists. I promise that you are going to be okay without your Bath and Body Works Three Wick Candle, a toaster, heater, hot plate and your pet. Also, don’t pin, nail, or attach things to the walls without approved hanging methods, because while your RA’s may not notice them while things are hanging, they are definitely going to notice the holes and chipped paint left on the walls when they’re empty. Why pay a fee at the end of the year, when you can spend a little extra money on Command Hooks and Strips? If you really don’t want to spend the money, don’t hang things up. Some people think they can outsmart the system and get away with restricted items, and I won’t lie to you, some people are able to. Although, the majority of people, end up facing the consequences of having prohibited items when they inevitably get caught.
Bring Flameless Candles Instead:
You do not need a set of luggage or a bulky suitcase with you at school, especially if you’re driving home when you do visit. A duffel bag and your backpack are all you really need to travel to and from home, anything more and it’s just taking up space in your dorm room. I do have a suitcase in my apartment, but it’s a small carry on one, and I only use it at Christmas when I fly home to see my family. The rest of the time, it’s stuck under my bed. So my advice to you, leave that cute luggage set at home and save it for when you travel and go on adventures, you don’t need it at college.
Bring A Cute Weekender Bag Instead:
6. Air Mattress and Sleeping Bag
A lot of people feel the need to bring accommodations for potential overnight guests. First of all, you most likely won’t have very many people stay the night at your dorm. You are already sharing a room and there’s not going to be a lot of space to house another human being. Also, most of your friends probably are living in the dorms with you, so they should just go home instead of crashing at your place. On the off chance that you do have a guest spend the night, either have them bring their own stuff to sleep on, or toss them a pillow and blanket and have them sleep on the ground. There’s no reason for an air mattress, air pump and sleeping bag to take up space in your dorm room when they will hardly ever be used.
7. Organizers and Containers
When shopping for items for your dorm, you are going to be so tempted to buy cute organizers and storage containers. DON’T!! It is so much easier to pack your stuff in totes and then keep those totes under your bed, than trying to unpack everything and put stuff in alternate storage containers. Is it the cute option? No, but come move-out day, things are going to be so much easier if you have kept things in the same container.
8. Collections/Knick Knacks
You collect hats? That’s great, don’t bring them with you. Your collection of sea shells, also needs to stay at home. It’s not that they’re not important to you, or that you don’t want to continue collecting them, there is just no reason for them to come to college with you. First, there is no room for things that don’t serve a purpose in your dorm room, and also, no one wants to see your collections. The same thing goes for those trinkets and knick-knacks you have on your desk at home. They are going to take up too much space on your desk at school and really, you don’t need them at school. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make your room feel homey and that you shouldn’t have any decorations, I’m just saying that your collections and knick-knacks, aren’t going to do anything for your college experience.
9. Cute School Supplies
As you may have noticed, the things you bring to college should be functional over fashionable. You don’t need to buy matching pens, pencils, binders, notebooks etc. In fact, don’t buy most school supplies until you know exactly what each class is going to require. The cheap 75 cent notebooks do the same job that the expensive decorative ones do. By only purchasing basic and functional school supplies, you’re not only going to save a lot of money, but a lot of space too. School supplies takes up space in your backpack and on your desk. Just buy the bare minimum. I will admit, when I found out I needed a three-ring binder for a class, I purchased the pink on instead of the black one because it made me happy. Had I purchased the black one, I would have paid the same amount, so I went pink instead. Just because you go for function doesn’t mean you can’t like your school supplies.
10. Your Bad Attitude
College is a new beginning. This is a time to have fun, explore, and learn a lot while you’re at it. Don’t bring a negative or pessimistic attitude with you. In order to make friends and to truly make the most of your college experience, you need to have an open mind. You may have your bad days, and you most definitely don’t always have to see the glass as half full, but if you’re happy, your experience is a happy one. Get out there, do your best, and make the most of some of the best years of your life!